NBA: Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell lead Lakers past Suns
Anthony Davis recorded 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists to help the Los Angeles Lakers notch a solid 122-111 victory over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
D’Angelo Russell added 26 points and six assists and Austin Reaves had 25 points and a career-high 11 assists as Los Angeles won its second straight game.
The Lakers (36-37) moved into a tie for ninth place with the Dallas Mavericks (36-37) in the Western Conference. With Dallas having the tiebreaker edge, the Lakers hold the final play-in berth by a half-game over the Utah Jazz (35-37) and New Orleans Pelicans (35-37).
Devin Booker scored 33 points and Chris Paul added 18 for Phoenix (38-34), which has dropped five of its past six games. Landry Shamet added 15 points and Torrey Craig had 14 for the Suns, who hold a half-game lead over the fifth-place Los Angeles Clippers (38-35) in the West.
Los Angeles beat Phoenix for the first time in three attempts this season on a night when the Lakers’ LeBron James (right foot) and the Suns’ Kevin Durant (left ankle) remained on the sidelines. Phoenix big man Deandre Ayton (right hip) missed his second straight game.
Three Lakers scored 25+ in their win tonight 👀
27 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST
26 PTS, 6 AST, 3 3PM
25 PTS, 4 REB, 11 AST (career-high) pic.twitter.com/PVR1jLU3r9
— NBA (@NBA) March 23, 2023
Dennis Schroder and Jarred Vanderbilt had 13 points apiece for the Lakers, who had lost their previous six regular-season games against the Suns.
Los Angeles shot 55.7 percent from the field, including 8 of 17 (47.1 percent) from 3-point range.
The Suns made 46.7 percent of their shots and were 12 of 31 (38.7 percent) from behind the arc. Booker committed seven of Phoenix’s 17 turnovers.
Phoenix trailed most of the game but pulled within 99-98 on T.J. Warren’s basket with 7:29 left in the contest. Russell then converted a three-point play and Davis added four straight points to increase the Los Angeles lead to eight with 6:03 remaining.
Reaves and Davis each made two free throws as the Lakers went up 113-102 with 3:57 left.
Los Angeles protected its lead and Reaves reached his career high in assists with a lob that Vanderbilt slammed through with 38.7 seconds left.
Reaves scored 13 first-half points and the Lakers led 59-52 at the break.
The Lakers held a 12-point lead in the third quarter after Reaves hit a floater with 7:31 left. However, the Suns controlled the remainder of the period to trail 88-85 entering the final stanza.